Classify Schools, Then Enforce RTE, Govt Told
Do not pressure schools to admit poor students under the Right to Education (RTE) quota without first classifying institutions into minority and non-minority, the High Court told the government on Wednesday. It also ordered the government to complete the classification within a month.
Advocate-General Ravi Varma Kumar had requested the court to direct schools to admit children under RTE quota, saying education is a fundamental right and underprivileged students should not be deprived this right.
Justice Anand Byra Reddy held that the government cannot coerce educational institutions to admitting students under the RTE unless it declares them as non-minority institutions. Based on submissions made by the Advocate-General, Justice Reddy directed the state government to declare if the institutions belonged to the linguistic minority group or not, based on the fixed criteria, within one month.
Twenty writ petitions were filed by educational institutions challenging the government’s order asking them to set aside 25 per cent seats for economically weaker sections. They contended that the Supreme Court has held that RTE cannot be implemented in educational institutions run by religious and linguistic minorities.
Justice Reddy also dismissed a petition seeking directions to a minorities-run school to allot 25 per cent of seats for the poor.
Yettinahole Project Challenged in HC
The government’s decision to take up the Yettinahole project has been challenged in the High Court.
Petitioner K N Somashekar has contended that the government has used to its advantage the direction by the Union Ministry of Environment on March 28, 2013, that the project can be taken up only after obtaining all necessary clearances from various departments.
The government has laid the foundation stone for the project, estimated to cost `13,000 crore, without even conducting a study to asses the damage the project will cause to the Western Ghats. The ecology of the region will be disturbed as a lot of trees will be cut and tunnels dug through thick forests, Somashekar said in his petition.
Though the case was listed for Wednesday, it did not come up for hearing due to paucity of time.
‘Motivated’ Plea Dismissed
The high court on Wednesday directed seven petitioners to pay `7,000 each for filing a PIL to fulfill private interests.
R V Sridhar and six others had filed the petition requesting the court to direct the BBMP to develop a parking lot on 1,864.70 sqmts near Malleswaram 13th Cross instead of constructing houses for BBMP employees on the plot.
They also claimed that the land in question was declared a slum according to Section 3 of the Karnataka Slum Area Act. The BBMP submitted that it was constructing houses for slum-dwellers and not for its employees as claimed by the petitioners.
The division bench of Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice BV Nagarathna observed that the petitioners cannot direct the BBMP on how to use its land.
The petitioners seem to be using the land for their private purposes and the BBMP’s decision to construct houses seems to have upset them, the bench observed.
‘Don’t Appoint Administrators’
The high court on Wednesday directed the government not to appoint administrators to govern milk producers cooperative societies till the five-year term of the elected bodies expires.
A larger bench of Chief Justice D H Waghela, Justices Dilip B Bhosale and B V Nagarathana observed that the amendment made Section 28 of the Karnataka Cooperative Societies Act, 1959, on February 11, 2013 to fix the term of the elected bodies to the cooperatives applies with retrospective effect.
Therefore, the term of the elected bodies has to be calculated from the date on which they were elected and not on the number of cooperative years, as done before the amendment.
The government cannot appoint administrators to run the societies till their term expires in June, the bench said.
Hassan Cooperative Milk Producers Society Union Ltd and 41 others had approached the court as the government appointed administrators to run the societies even before their term expired.
Directive to school on fees
The high court on Wednesday directed Apollo School not to collect fees more than what is prescribed by the government. Justice Anand Byra Reddy observed that the court will reopen the case if the school fails to comply with its directions.Prathima and six others of Apollo School had filed a plea requesting the court to direct the school not to collect more fees.
Special hearing during vacation
The High Court will constitute a special bench during the vacation to hear a writ petition filed by a group of medical students with regard to government seats for post-graduate courses. The students have requested the court to direct medical colleges to allocate the agreed number of government seats in each discipline.